Cooking is a basic necessary need to survive, but around 2.8 billion people globally do not have access to modern technology. To do so they have to cook with unsustainable and unreliable means of energy such as biomass and kerosene in small, unprepared kitchens. As a result, those who cook tend to develop respiratory illnesses. Who pays the price? Mostly women and children. As they spend more time indoors, they suffer worst health outcomes and therefore get sick more frequently than men. However, this can be improved by switching to clean energy.
Posdoctoral researcher Imelda from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid presented her paper Clean Energy Access: Gender Disparity, Health, and Labor Supply at an NCID seminar last 19th october. The results from her study in Indonesia show that switching from kerosene to liquified natural gas improved women's health and also both women's and men's labor outcomes.
By having a cleaner way to cook, the working hours of women were increased and men could also work more and even get another job, as time wasn't spent on taking care of health related issues. The study shows therefore that by promoting clean cooking energies in developing countries gender disparity can be narrowed in both health and labor.